As a Bravo marketing executive, Jason Klarman spent much of his time targeting women viewers with shows like Project Runway, so he’s undaunted by his new job as general manager of Oxygen, a female-focused network.
“I have a background in marketing to women … and have had some success doing that, so I think that it’s not a big leap for me to do this,” said Klarman, who last week was named by NBC Universal to his new role at the women’s network.
In his post at Oxygen Media, Klarman will work closely with Lauren Zalaznick, president of Bravo Media and Oxygen Media, to determine the overall marketing, digital, communications and sales strategy for the women’s network, which was acquired by NBCU in November.
Klarman, formerly Bravo’s executive vice president of marketing and digital, will have responsibility for day-to-day operations and will manage Oxygen’s brand strategy, consumer and trade marketing, on-air promotion and creative services.
Last Thursday, after his appointment was announced, Klarman went to Oxygen’s Chelsea headquarters in Manhattan to meet with the network’s staff.
“We had a great sort of town hall meeting where candidly I was asked a broad range of questions, of 'do I like shoes’ to what’s my strategic view of the brand,” he said. “It was a really great give-and-take with the whole team.”
Klarman noted that Oxygen has been successful carving out a younger niche in the women’s marketplace, with hits shows such as The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency and Tori & Dean: Inn Love.
“There is great success already here, and building on that is my job,” he said.
For the past few years, Klarman has faced Oxygen as a rival.
“Candidly, I’ve looked at Oxygen and its success on Tuesday night as a competitor for the last couple of years, so I’ve got to change my mindset,” he said.
Earlier this week, Discovery Communications announced that it is partnering with Oprah Winfrey on her own channel, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (see page 6). Discovery will rebrand its Discovery Health as OWN, which is expected to appeal to women viewers.
Klarman said he isn’t worried a new competitor in the female-TV arena.
“I welcome it,” he said. “A robust marketplace is good for everybody. I’m not sure what they’re going to do.”
At Oxygen, Klarman will also oversee the strategy for advertising and digital sales and the development of all digital content.